Kalamazoo Klassic 5k Recap: The Thrill of the Hill

Yesterday the 33rd annual Kalamazoo Klassic race was held and oh, what a beautiful morning! I have heard of this race since I have lived in Kalamazoo, but never being a runner I of course did not partake. Now that I am obsessed enjoying running I was super excited to race in the Klassic. This race has a wonderful tradition that you can read more about here.

There is a 5k race and a 10k race, which is doing the 5k race twice. Here is the map:

Do you see that big gap on Maple Street? Well that is the BIG Maple Street Hill, so if you run the 10k you get the pure hell challenge of tackling that. If you do the 5k, you have a wonderful course that actually goes downhill for most of it. Needless to say, most racers can easily score a PR on the 5k course. So what did I sign up for? The 5k of course:-)

I went and picked up my race pack on Friday night and that is when the excitement set in. There is something about a race, whether it be a 5k or a half marathon, that puts a little boom-boom in my heart. Oh, and I love me some race t-shirts! This one was pretty cute too:

I woke up early yesterday to give me enough time to eat and have my stomach settle. Oatmeal and a banana is my go-to race or long-run food. I was out of bananas so I settled for just the oatmeal. It was already about 70 degrees out so I dressed in shorts and a tech tee and I was ready to hit the road!

My man and puppy came out to support me. Usually Joe will race with me, but his knee is STILL giving him issues. Poor soon-to-be hubby:-(  But I was really happy that I would be able to see his smiling face at the start and finish line. Here is a pic he snapped of me at the starting line:

I was ready to do this thing! However, it only took me about a half a mile into the race to realize that 5k are not my forte! You see, I am a slooooow runner. I enjoy distance more than speed. The 5k, being so short, is all about speed! But even though you have to run a little harder and faster, the race is over before you know it…in my case 29 minutes and 13 seconds. And yep, that would be a PR! (Did I mention it was a lot of down hill!) I placed 33 out of 84 in my age group.

Here is a picture of me coming up to the finish line:


It was great to cross the finish line and see so many familiar faces from Borgess Run Camp and Summer Safari. I realized that I am so blessed to live in a city that not only encourages, but nurtures runners – whether they be new to the sport or seasoned. Kudos to Kalamazoo and all involved in the Kalamazoo Klassic!

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